In 1974, Billy Shire was working on a Studded Denim Jacket to advertise his studding business, and decided to enter it into the Levi’s Denim Art Contest. His entry, Welfare (1975), which won the competition, is embellished with eleven pounds of rivets, rhinestone rim sets and oversize upholstery tacks typically used on leather and furniture.
The design also incorporates an ashtray and a hotel desk bell, which chimes while the jacket is being worn.
Shire has created stage costumes and street wear for Elton John, as well as members of the bands Chicago and The Doobie Brothers
Theses Photographs were Taken at the Exhibit, Counter-Couture: Handmade Fashion in an American Counterculture on Display Through August 20th, 2017 at the Museum of Arts and Design, Located at 2 Columbus Circle (at 58th Street and 8th Avenue), in NYC.